by Andrew Miller

Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it.

At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.


I loved this book but, at the same time, felt a little bit disappointed. Actually, the author does a masterful job with his prose, to the extent that I didn't mind being disappointed by the story.

So what was wrong with it? Well, for me at least, it seemed to be missing something. I was expecting a supernatural thriller, but it ended up being nothing of the sort. Hints were dropped throughout that suggested something seriously creepy was going to happen. And perhaps that is where the problem lay. The hints were way too unsubtle, to the extent that I was making a mental note of them and thinking: "Another hint. This is going to be good". Sadly, the ending did not live up to the author-generated hype. Don't get e wrong--the book was entertaining. It's just that it promised more than it delivered.

I spite of this, I do plan to read it again, just to make sure I didn't miss something. The prose is good enough to enjoy by itself and I look forward to reading more by the same author.